Patterico's Pontifications

5/9/2004

The Pseudo-Journalism of the Los Angeles Times

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 10:14 am

Los Angeles Times Editor John Carroll has made the following startling statement:

All over the country there are offices that look like newsrooms and there are people in those offices that look for all the world just like journalists, but they are not practicing journalism. They regard the audience with a cold cynicism. They are practicing something I call a pseudo-journalism, and they view their audience as something to be manipulated.

This is as accurate a description of the L.A. Times as I have heard in quite a while. A glance at my Dog Trainer category tells you why I feel this way.

Yet Carroll is not talking about his own paper. He is talking about Fox News:

Carroll cited a study released last year that showed Americans had three main
misconceptions about Iraq: That weapons of mass destruction had been found, a connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq had been demonstrated and that the world approved of U.S intervention in Iraq. He said 80 percent of people who primarily got their news from Fox believed at least one of the misconceptions. He said the figure was more than 57 percentage points higher than people who get their news from public news broadcasting.

“How in the world could Fox have left its listeners so deeply in the dark?” Carroll asked.

Let’s put aside any questions about whether WMD have been found (or were shipped to Syria), or whether there was a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, or what it means to say “the world” approves of intervention in Iraq. For purposes of our discussion, we’ll assume that Carroll is right, and that it is a “misconception” to believe these points. We’ll assume that a study shows that these “misconceptions” are more widely held by Fox News viewers than public television viewers.

So what? That proves exactly nothing.

The “study” cited by Carroll, like many such “studies” perpetrated by leftist social scientists, is transparently worthless and politically motivated. The “study” ignores the basic principle that correlation does not equal causation. This is because the “study” focuses on misconceptions that are more likely to be held by people on the right. Naturally, such misconceptions are more often held by people who watch Fox News — because people on the right are more likely to watch Fox News.

Does Carroll think that people on the right are the only people who have misconceptions? I could just as easily point to several “misconceptions” that I expect are more widely held by people on the left. For example: Dick Cheney explicitly said that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11. George W. Bush has been proved to have been AWOL. George W. Bush said in a State of the Union speech that Iraq posed an “imminent threat.” George W. Bush made a reference to uranium coming from Niger in his State of the Union speech.

Let’s do a study to see whether these misconceptions — which are widely held by those on the left — are more widely held by Fox News viewers or by public television viewers. What do you think that study would show?

Better yet, I would like to see a study about who holds certain misconceptions that have been advocated by the Los Angeles Times — and debunked on this blog. For example: Anyone convicted of three shoplifting offenses in California is eligible for a 25-to-life sentence. Justice Scalia was huddled in a duck blind with Vice President Cheney. Justice Scalia ordered a federal marshal to seize and destroy recordings of a speech he gave. LAPD’s new pursuit policy would have prevented several pursuit-related tragedies that occurred in 2002. And so on . . .

Let’s do a study to see whether these misconceptions are more widely held by Patterico readers or by Los Angeles Times readers.

And when that study shows that the Los Angeles Times is guilty of systematically misleading its readers on a wide range of topics, I will accuse the Los Angeles Times of “pseudo-journalism” — and I will ask: How in the world could the Los Angeles Times have left its readers so deeply in the dark?

This is a very simple point. But Carroll fails to see it, and falls for the study’s conclusions — because they reinforce Carroll’s previously held opinions regarding Fox News and Fox News viewers. Not that Times editors would ever trumpet the results of a flawed study by a liberal organization. . .

Thanks to L.A. Observed, where I first saw this, and to readers Jim D. and Frank G. for pushing me to write about it.

UPDATE: Xrlq has more. So does Calblog.

Also, there is more information available about the study upon which Carroll bases his comments. A commenter to Xrlq’s post (as cross-posted at Oh, That Liberal Media) points out that the organization that performed the “study” is the Program on International Policy Attitudes. Their sponsors include Rockefeller Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Tides Foundation (an organization with ties to John Kerry’s wife), Ford Foundation, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Compton Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, Benton Foundation, Ben and Jerry’s Foundation, Americans Talk Issues Foundation, and Circle Foundation.

Investigate these, and you’ll see that they are largely leftist organizations. If he can’t see the obvious flaws in the “study,” shouldn’t the editor of a major metropolitan newspaper at least take into account who did the study?

43 Responses to “The Pseudo-Journalism of the Los Angeles Times

  1. I tried to send this to the comments section in the story. It has to be reviewed by a ‘comments editor’ (giggle) first. Gosh, I wonder if my comments will make the cut for the Oregon Daily Emerald? :

    ‘Topic: Esteemed journalist lectures on ethics
    Name: Potis Black
    Email: passwo@iwon.com
    Comment:
    I’m sure the robber-barons of the past were upset when
    their monopolies were broken, too. Well, get ready for
    more of that thar newfangled Fox news, internet
    reporting, blogs, etc…Mr. Carroll.

    Sadly, this report about Carroll doesn’t mention WHY
    there is a vastly successful market for so-called
    ‘pseudo-journalism’. Maybe it’s because Mr. Carroll and
    his ilk have badly mismanaged their stewardship of ‘real
    journalism’?

    I’ll give you some free advice, Mr. Carroll. These smug
    proclamations about how you (and CNN and NYT et. al.) are
    the ‘real’ journalists, while the newer upstarts are not,
    is part of the reason why the general population
    distrusts you.

    The ‘real journos’ have made some real whopping mistakes,
    but you don’t hear the corrections trumpeted as loudly as
    the false headlines, do you Mr. Carroll? Those misleading
    stories also tend to tilt one way, politically. Ever
    wonder why that is?

    Have you ever been intellectually curious enough to
    discover why the ‘real journos’ are mostly from one
    party, and overwhelmingly vote for one particular party,
    Mr. Carroll?

    This little something called the Internet is going to
    change everything in your ‘profession’, Mr. Carroll. It’s
    already started to… ‘

    Potis Black (b20c69)

  2. Carry on, my valiant friend. Two weeks ago, after my numerous thoughtful but unpublished letters to the editor, arguments with the current “reader representative” and Sundays ruined by their hysterical propadanda, I canceled my LAT subscription. Life is too short. To hell with them.

    PJ (9177f2)

  3. Just for the record, I generally think quite highly of PIPA, the outfit that did the study he refers to (Fox viewers are misinformed, etc etc). But in this case I think the study was just fatally flawed. For the details, see:

    http://rantingprofs.typepad.com/rantingprofs/2003/11/and_another_thi.html

    dauber (731c74)

  4. PJ,

    The site Oh, That Liberal Media (to which I am a contributor) has a section for letters to the editor that were never published, but should have been. You should consider submitting your best letters.

    Patterico (f7b3e5)

  5. Would Carroll even consider those liberal foundations? Seems to me the left has rightwing and conservative on the one hand and mainstream on the other.

    Justene (60907b)

  6. In his prosecutorial zeal, Patterico is, as usual, sloppy as all get out.

    It is a classic “ad hominem” argument to attack the producers of the study rather than the study itself. Thus, all of his rantings about the Rockefeller Brothers Fund etc. are quite irrelevant.

    Furthermore, Patterico carries out thought experiments. Since he does not subject his hypotheses to empirical verification, they cannot be falsified. On that score, then, he has proven exactly nothing.

    (Patterico is also laughable when he wishes to compare the issue of Scalia and the federal marshals to those surrounding the WMD/Saddam/Al-Qaeda/invasion. The mismatch in scale between these issues makes his outrage seem all the more Lilliputian.)

    m.croche (fc6447)

  7. MPET

    Missing the Point, Every Time.

    Patterico (f7b3e5)

  8. This part was, to my mind, comedy gold:

    He said while much media has ended up “in the gutter,” the L.A. Times has a different philosophy and was dedicated to taking the “high road.”

    I’m amazed he can say that with a straight face after the Times’s “coverage” of the recall election.

    Ryan (ca7b11)

  9. This part was, to my mind, comedy gold:

    He said while much media has ended up “in the gutter,” the L.A. Times has a different philosophy and was dedicated to taking the “high road.”

    I’m amazed he can say that with a straight face after the Times’s “coverage” of the recall election.

    Ryan (ca7b11)

  10. Patterico on a tear…Keep it up!

    Justin Levine (3f6584)

  11. It is a classic “ad hominem” argument to attack the producers of the study rather than the study itself.

    No, he hammered the study pretty hard before he mentioned suspicions about the study’s authors.

    Since he does not subject his hypotheses to empirical verification, they cannot be falsified.

    Neither could Einstein’s, but that didn’t stop him either. You’re begging the question as to whether verification is required. These PIPA questions are so patently absurd, this is a case where everyone can simply take notice of the flaws.

    Patterico is also laughable when he wishes to compare the issue of Scalia and the federal marshals to those surrounding the WMD/Saddam/Al-Qaeda/invasion.

    He wasn’t making a comparison of these things.

    R. Darren Brewer (5e97f0)

  12. I appreciate your patient attempt to explain these simple points to Croche, Darren. However, if you become a regular reader (and I hope you do) you may soon decide that Croche’s nonsense is unworthy of a response.

    Patterico (f7b3e5)

  13. The study was focused on the war and it pointed out people’s misconception on its legitimacy, which I have yet to hear justified to me.

    Meanwhile the Carlyle Group and Halliburton are making a killing off the war on terror with private and no-bid contracts, the latter having been known to over-charge the government and (according to the troops and an investigation) given shoddy food service at best.

    To say “so what” to the fact that a supposedly credible media outlet such as Fox is not so determined to express nor correct misinformation is to say so what to the fact that mere soldiers are taking the fall for the abuse scandal.

    It was a “liberal” group that started “hero miles” and shamed the government into paying for a soldier’s way home instead of just dropping them off at the airport. Not to mention hiding away the crippled one. Check out the ARMY TIMES…they’ll tell you what troops think of the Bush Co. If fewer misconceptions are held by your readers, then they should see the statements I’ve made thus far as fact correct?

    A semi-literate puppet president who fumbles every speech he gives is leading us. His father was a better president than him. Is this site really high volume or an ego stroke for its creator?

    Then again…this thread seems dead, why am I even posting? Do you guys REALLY care about the Iraqi’s or what they happen to be standing on?

    Mark my words.(or Kissingers) ..South America is next!

    tiredasrepublicans (b8f502)

  14. The study was focused on the war and it pointed out people’s misconception on its legitimacy, which I have yet to hear justified to me.

    Meanwhile the Carlyle Group and Halliburton are making a killing off the war on terror with private and no-bid contracts, the latter having been known to over-charge the government and (according to the troops and an investigation) given shoddy food service at best.

    To say “so what” to the fact that a supposedly credible media outlet such as Fox is not so determined to express nor correct misinformation is to say so what to the fact that mere soldiers are taking the fall for the abuse scandal.

    It was a “liberal” group that started “hero miles” and shamed the government into paying for a soldier’s way home instead of just dropping them off at the airport. Not to mention hiding away the crippled one. Check out the ARMY TIMES…they’ll tell you what troops think of the Bush Co. If fewer misconceptions are held by your readers, then they should see the statements I’ve made thus far as fact correct?

    A semi-literate puppet president who fumbles every speech he gives is leading us. His father was a better president than him. Is this site really high volume or an ego stroke for its creator? Stop trying to build contreversy for yourself…you are not Rush Coultier!

    Then again…this thread seems dead, why am I even posting? Do you guys REALLY care about the Iraqi’s or what they happen to be standing on?

    Mark my words.(or Kissingers) ..South America is next!

    tiredasrepublicans (b8f502)

  15. Shipped to Syria…speculation my dear.

    tiredasrepublicans (b8f502)

  16. Tax cuts during a time of war??? Redickulous! Corporate welfare people…70 billion in unpaid taxes a year…true patriots right?

    Backdrop for Bush job creation plan cuts 1,300 jobs

    “Timken is Canton’s biggest employer, and it is reported that 1,300 jobs are to be cut… Ironically, it was a little more than a year ago when President George W. Bush visited Timken’s world headquarters heralding his tax cut and job creation plan. Now this very company’s job cuts will be a major blow to the economy in Canton.”

    See you guys at Camp Redemption (formerly Abu Ghraib) after the draft of 2005!

    tiredasrepublicans (b8f502)

  17. “How in the world could the Los Angeles Times have left its readers so deeply in the dark?”

    We need a good word for people who are living in the dark due to big media’s efforts to suppress so much news. I think I may just have one: they’re “mushrooms.”

    Vik Rubenfeld (be1be8)

  18. That Big Media, liberal to its core, suppressing conservatives everywhere. What a powerful, pervasive influence it has, what with all those high-rolling Democratic contributors in charge. I wonder why nobody’s reporting the real news, like how WMDs have been found, Iraq really did pose a serious, imminent threat to the U.S., and that Osama and Saddam were plotting to take over the world together.

    How come Big Media isn’t telling us these things? Must be because they’re all run by liberals.

    Tom (20643b)

  19. Incidentally, Patterico, your line of reasoning on this issue is inaccurate. (You suggest that Fox viewers in general tend to swing right and therefore are more likely to hold these misperceptions, but not simply because they watch Fox). Had you bothered to read through the actual report by the PIPA/Knowledge Networks, you might have found the section on page 17, column 2, paragraphs 2-3, which would have laid that belief to rest:

    Variations in misperceptions according to news source cannot simply be explained as a result of differences in the characteristics of each audience. It is true that some audiences vary according to such demographics as party identification and education—Fox viewers are more Republican, PBS-NPR is higher in education and less Republican, print readers are more educated, and CBS is less educated and more Democratic. It is also true that Republicans and those with lower education are more likely to have misperceptions. However, controlling for these demographic differences by examining the variations in misperception within demographic groups reveals persisting variations in the level of misperceptions according to news source, consistent with the analysis above.

    Looking just at Republicans, the average rate for the three key misperceptions was 43%. For Republican Fox viewers, however the average rate was 54% while for Republicans who get their news from PBS/NPR the average rate is 32%. This same pattern obtains with Democrats and independents.

    In a word, Boo-yah. Holla back if you need the link.

    Tom (e27454)

  20. Sure, but there are Republicans and there are Republicans. Those who get their news from NPR/PBS are sure to be more centrist to begin with than those who watch Fox. Democrats who get their news from Fox are also likely to be more centrist to begin with than those who get their news from NPR.

    Nothing in the report suggests that the study truly controls for this factor.

    Sorry, this study confuses correlation with causation. Your comment does not demonstrate otherwise. It’s an amazingly common fallacy, and it’s so seductive that you continued to get taken in even when you were looking for it.

    Patterico (fdb617)

  21. While I can appreciate the angle you’re going for, I disagree with your conclusion. The basis for the claim that “…those who get their news from NPR/PBS are sure to be more centrist to begin with than those who watch Fox…” seems pretty weak to me. While that is almost certainly true in several cases, I haven’t seen any evidence which would indicate that Republicans who listen to NPR/PBS or Dems who listen to Fox more centrist. If you know of any evidence to support this claim, I’d be glad to take a look at it.

    I agree with you that, in many cases, people will gravitate towards the news sources that seem to report news more along the lines of what they believe to be true already. Many of these Democrats watching Fox or Republicans watching PBS may be doing just that. But I’ll bet that in just as many cases, if not more, people are just turning on “the news,” by which I mean whatever’s on at a convenient time, and getting their information. Fox is flashier and a bit more sensationalist than, say, PBS. Aesthetically speaking, which would you rather watch? Is it way off-base therefore to suggest that some Fox viewers are influenced by what’s reported? And how can we possibly know how many viewers are of the former category and how many of the latter? Which gets eaten by the Fox first, the chicken or the egg?

    Patterico, you know as well as anyone that when big media sources take politically slanted positions, it helps shape a general societal consciousness. Certainly, you rally on against the LA Times every day for this reason (among others). Why is it so hard for you to accept a study that is only reporting the logical conclusion of one such culture? With all due respect, I think that perhaps the biggest issue you’re having with the results of this study is not about whether it confuses “causation with correlation,” since it is nearly impossible to determine the motivations for people’s news choices, but rather the fact that you don’t like the political implications of the results. I doubt very much you’d be taking the same stance if one such study were made about the perceptions/misperceptions of LA Times readers.

    Tom (41ac3c)

  22. While that is almost certainly true in several cases, I haven’t seen any evidence which would indicate that Republicans who listen to NPR/PBS or Dems who listen to Fox more centrist. If you know of any evidence to support this claim, I’d be glad to take a look at it.

    Here’s the thing: when a study fails to control for alternative explanations that comport with common sense, it’s not incumbent on the study’s critics to provide evidence of the truth of those alternate explanations. It’s incumbent on the study to eliminate the distorting effect of those reasonable alternative causes. That’s Statistics 101.

    You claimed the study does this, but it just doesn’t.

    By the way, I criticize flawed social science studies whether they agree or disagree with my beliefs. For example, I believe in capital punishment in principle, and believe that (as a matter of common sense) it deters. However, I have also rejected the logic of studies that purport to quantify the degree of deterrence by saying that “I simply don’t believe that any study can quantify such intangibles with anything approaching scientific precision.”

    So your hypothetical accusation that I would be a hypocrite concerning an L.A. Times study is without basis.

    Now you are making a different argument: doesn’t it comport with common sense that Fox viewers will be affected by the coverage they watch? To which my response is: of course. But don’t give me some pseudo-scientific “study” that purports to quantify this — just make the common-sense argument.

    You’ll notice that another major objection I have to the “study” is that it focuses only on “misperceptions” that would naturally be held by those on the right. As I point out, there are many misperceptions held by those on the left, and reinforced by liberal organs like the LAT. I can’t quantify the effect that the liberal media has on this phenomenon, but it must have some effect, just as Fox’s reporting must have some effect on its audience.

    Once we have dispensed with the phony aura of science surrounding these arguments, we can then argue about whether these are “misperceptions.” And that’s a whole other can of worms.

    Patterico (fdb617)

  23. First of all: I’m sorry for suggesting that you’re only concerned about this due to the politics involved. That was unfounded bullshit on my part.

    Onward…

    “…when a study fails to control for alternative explanations that comport with common sense, it’s not incumbent on the study’s critics to provide evidence of the truth of those alternate explanations. It’s incumbent on the study to eliminate the distorting effect of those reasonable alternative causes.”

    Ok. So here’s an alternate case for you: What if everybody who said they were Republicans were actually Democrats (and vice versa)? This must be the case, because, really now, no true Democrat would watch Fox News anyway. How would this new ‘common sense’ revelation change things?

    Well, according to the paradigm you’ve just set up, it would be further proof of the study’s falliablity. Hmm…there’s a problem somewhere along the line, isn’t there?

    I can hear you now: “But that’s not a ‘common sense’ explanation! It’s not reasonable to suggest that people are lying about their party affiliation!”

    Well, to me, this isn’t that much more of a stretch than your assumption that the discrepancies mentioned above are more likely to be caused by Republican centrists, instead of the biased reporting of Fox News. Essentially, your argument breaks down as follows:

    1.) The most significant factor as to how people came about these “misperceptions” is not which news source they employ, but the extent to which they start out as conservative.
    2.) The self-identified conservatives using NPR/PBS don’t count, because they’re automatically more centrist (based only on the fact that they use NPR/PBS).

    Obviously, this is an overly-simplistic rendition of your argument. But here’s my overly-simplistic response:

    -“Common sense” does not allow that knowing someone’s chosen news source necessarily reveals anything about their political affiliation.

    I believe that if a Republican listens to NPR, your assumption, that this person is more centrist to begin with, is is just as valid as my assumption: that he chose NPR because he believes it to be a less-biased news source. Or maybe he just wants to hear the bad news too. Or check up on what those liberals are reporting. Or whatever. But I maintain that it’s not fair to make a blanket claim that NPR/PBS = liberal listeners and Fox = conservatives.

    Getting away from talk of logical fallacies and all that crap, just about any study could be defeated by employing a similar litmus test as you’re doing here. For us to be willing to accept any study at all, we have to draw the line somewhere, and I believe that PIPA/Knowledge Networks did a pretty decent job of it above, by specifically comparing people according to political demographics.

    P.S. I agree with you that, in this context, the study looks pretty partisan. But that’s because of the way a small part of the results were used by people like me. (I would point out that the PIPA/Knowledge Networks is a non-partisan polling organization.) I also think that a similar study which in part dealt with liberal misperceptions would be just as revealing–even though I probably wouldn’t be thrilled about the results either…

    Tom (e27454)

  24. Your characterization of my argument is not merely over-simplified, but rather just plain inaccurate.

    You say I argue:

    The most significant factor as to how people came about these “misperceptions” is not which news source they employ, but the extent to which they start out as conservative.

    No, I don’t assert that it is the “most” significant factor. I have no way of knowing that. Nor do the people who run the study, if they don’t institute controls. I say only that it is a potentially relevant factor — meaning that, if the study doesn’t control for it, then any purported quantification is bogus.

    Next, you say I argue:

    The self-identified conservatives using NPR/PBS don’t count, because they’re automatically more centrist (based only on the fact that they use NPR/PBS).

    No, I don’t say anyone “doesn’t count” — I say that we don’t know whether self-identified Republicans (not “conservatives” — there is a difference) who primarily watch PBS hold the same beliefs, in the main, as those who watch Fox. So, again, any purported quantification based on an alleged correlation that doesn’t control for this factor fails to show causation.

    Next:

    Unless I am missing some irony somewhere, I am having a hard time squaring these two statements of yours:

    [N]o true Democrat would watch Fox News anyway.

    and

    “Common sense” does not allow that knowing someone’s chosen news source necessarily reveals anything about their political affiliation.

    Were you kidding when you made one of those statements, or did you not see the conflict?

    Understand, I am not saying no conservative listens to NPR and no leftist watches Fox. I am saying that, more likely than not, their respective audiences (on the whole) start out in agreement with each network’s general point of view — even before they switch on the radio or TV set.

    To ignore that simple truth is not scientific.

    I still agree with one of your fundamental points, though: that inaccurate reporting misleads people. As you properly point out, I couldn’t sustain my level of outrage at the LAT were I to believe otherwise. But I strongly disagree that this study shows that Fox is worse than other organizations. This is not just because correlation does not equal causation, but also because of the one-sided nature of the alleged “misperceptions” — a critical point that I make in the post and in my previous comment, and which you do not address at all.

    Patterico (f7b3e5)

  25. I’m still exhausted from responding to the last one. So here’s a couple side things, with a much better response to come some other time. :)

    Side thing #1: My comment, “no true Democrat would watch Fox News anyway,” is entirely intended to be satirical. (Explains a lot, don’t it?) Sorry for the confusion.

    Side thing #2: To what extent (if at all) do you believe that Fox is slanted to the right? How would you rate it compared to the others? I tend to think of CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN as fairly centrist, with not much help going to either side. I find Fox to be much more pro-Republican, while NPR more worldly (read: left by nature), and the NYT more pro-Democrat. I’m not trying to make empirical statements, btw, this is just my sense about things. What’s yours?

    You are right that I haven’t yet addressed the one-sided nature of this study. Not until right now have I considered it the way I believe you’ve intended it. (I didn’t understand the true significance of it being ‘one-sided’–that if they had tested some ‘left-wing’ misperceptions as well, the results of everything combined might be more compelling. Definitely worth further thinking on my part.)

    Tom (e27454)

  26. I don’t watch much TV, to be honest. I virtually never watch network news, and rarely watch CNN. My viewing of Fox is limited to Special Report and FNS, as I find the other shows impossible to take.

    I find Special Report and FNS the mirror image of the mainstream media with which I am familiar (network news on the rare occasions I watch it, major papers, the main newsmagazines, etc.). The reporting often presents two sides, but one side is clearly favored in many or most instances.

    I find the information I learn on Fox (and the internet) informative, because I am beat over the head with the opposing viewpoint at all other times, beginning when I open the LAT in the morning.

    If you haven’t focused on the one-sided nature of the misperceptions, then you missed the main point of my post. As you do your further thinking, do me a favor and read my original post again. I discuss that problem extensively.

    Patterico (f7b3e5)

  27. While we’re side-tracked, if there is a relative balance between the likes of Fox and the LAT, why spend so much time harping on the left end of that (a la TLM, etc.)? It’s actually pretty amusing to me, since the same exact thing happens on the other side–people on both sides attack the same media sources for the same reasons from completely opposite perspectives. I tend to stay away from mainstream media for the same reasons (but flipped) as you mentioned above–I only wish it were as progressive as you seem to think it is.

    To me, even if it could be concluded that the media is decidedly liberal, so what? It doesn’t seem to be impacting anything– Bush and Kerry are neck and neck–unless you think that Bush is supposed to be leading every state by 20 points at this point, which I really hadn’t considered. What do you think–is the ‘liberal media’ the only real reason this country is still polarized?

    Just curious.

    Tom (e27454)

  28. While we’re side-tracked, if there is a relative balance between the likes of Fox and the LAT, why spend so much time harping on the left end of that (a la TLM, etc.)?

    Here’s how I see the break-down:

    On the right: WSJ editorial page; Washington Times; NY Post; Fox; Weekly Standard; National Review.

    On the left: NYT; LAT; WaPo; ABC; CBS; NBC; CNN; Newsweek; Time Magazine.

    It seems to me that the influence of the publications on the left is far more pervasive.

    Which brings us to your next complaint:

    To me, even if it could be concluded that the media is decidedly liberal, so what? It doesn’t seem to be impacting anything– Bush and Kerry are neck and neck–unless you think that Bush is supposed to be leading every state by 20 points at this point, which I really hadn’t considered. What do you think–is the ‘liberal media’ the only real reason this country is still polarized?

    Although the mainstream media influences people’s views, it is not the only influence. But the fact that it is not the only influence does not mean that it is not a significant influence.

    Indeed, when the country is this evenly divided, almost any influence is significant.

    Patterico (f7b3e5)

  29. It seems to me that the influence of the publications on the left is far more pervasive.

    Given your break-down, I would too. I guess I personally put the mainstream TV networks in the middle, but it’s fine by me that we see it differently.

    Hey, I’ve got it–let’s just do away with all television and printed news entirely. Let people go to the WWW for their information–it’s impossible to suppress things on the Web (though it’s also impossible to suppress others from posting their conspiracy theory B.S.).

    Indeed, when the country is this evenly divided, almost any influence is significant.

    Agreed. See ya later.

    Tom (e27454)

  30. Thanks for the comments. Once you got past some of your initial sarcasm, I enjoyed the discussion. I disagreed with much of what you said, but it’s clear that you represent a sizable group of similar-thinking people, so it has been valuable to have had the chance to address your arguments.

    I hope you keep reading and commenting. I enjoy hearing from (and debating with) people who hold opposite viewpoints — especially when they are civil, as you have been.

    Patterico (f7b3e5)

  31. John Carroll on ethics
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    Calblog (2fb2f0)

  32. Dog Trainer: If it Ain’t Liberal Journalism, it Ain’t Journalism
    L.A. Times editor John Carroll has called off his war on liberal bias, if there ever really was one in the first place. I say “if” because, contrary to Kevin Roderick’s characterization of the memo as a “war on ‘liberal bias'” [internal sneer q…

    damnum absque injuria (1e09c7)

  33. Submitted for Your Approval
    First off…&nbsp any spambots reading this should immediately go here, here, here, and here.&nbsp Die spambots, die!&nbsp And now…&nbsp here are all the links submitted by members of the Watcher’s Council for this week’s vote. Council links:The Pseu…

    Watcher of Weasels (07c6c2)

  34. More Success in Iraq
    This email from the front is a must read: I ask that the American people be brave. Don’t fall for the spin by the weak and timid amongst you that are portraying this battle as a disaster. Such people are

    Right on the Left Beach (af7df9)

  35. The Council Has Spoken!
    First off…&nbsp any spambots reading this should immediately go here, here, here, and here.&nbsp Die spambots, die!&nbsp And now…&nbsp the winning entries in the Watcher’s Council vote for this week are Perspective Lost by Exultate Justi, and House…

    Watcher of Weasels (07c6c2)

  36. Must Reads
    Exultate Justi wins the Watcher’s Council this week with Perspective lost, a moving post about Abu Ghraib scandal. He squeaked by Patterico’s Pontifications’ The Pseudo-Journalism of the Los Angeles Times, an excellent entry about media spin.Right Wing…

    AlphaPatriot (07cc50)

  37. WATCHER’S COUNCIL
    I missed last week’s winners. Here they are. The winners were this by Exultate Justi and this by Right Wing…

    The Spoons Experience (5ac6f4)

  38. The Council Has Spoken ! ! !
    This week’s top winners are: Council Members: Perspective Lost by Exultate Justi, and Los Angeles Times by Patterico’s Pontifications , and Non-coucncil Links: House Republicans Call for Troop Withdrawals by Right Wing News, and UN Still Obstructionis…

    e-Claire (75cec2)

  39. The Council Has Spoken ! ! !
    This week’s top winners are: Council Members: Perspective Lost by Exultate Justi, and The Pseudo-Journalism of the Los Angeles Times by Patterico’s Pontifications , and Non-coucncil Links: House Republicans Call for Troop Withdrawals by Right Wing New…

    e-Claire (75cec2)

  40. Watcher Council Update
    The winning Watcher entries for the week of May 6th are as follows: Alpha…

    Spicedsass (15eef6)

  41. LA TIMES Faces Layoffs: Is Their Biased News Coverage The Cause?
    I was tempted to blog this the other day, but was waiting for some key info to appear. That info just arrived. As you may have heard, LA TIMES editor John Carroll recently gave a "speech":http://patterico.com/archives/002230.php in which he s…

    The Big Picture (192154)

  42. Another Righteous Fisking
    A blogging prosecutor, Patterico, specializes in fisking what used to be known as the Whale, the Lost Angeles Times. Patterico unkindly calls it the “dog-trainer.”

    The Whale nickname refers both to the size and thickness of the paper, and its domi…

    As the Top of the World Turns (28eb22)


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